Breaking Down Italian Wine

Often when I’m out at dinner and am the one who is handed the wine list.  “You know what to get, you pick” No pressure at all, although most of the time I know what everyone will like.  Once everyone takes their first sip and commends me on my choice another slew of questions roll in, most importantly, what does everything on the label mean? 

Each country has it’s own classification system, which is beyond overwhelming for most people, so I thought why not do a series that breaks it down easily for everyone to understand?  

First country on the classification tour- Italia

VdT – Vino da Tavola, aka Table Wine.  These are not common in the US and have the lowest quality standards of Italian wine.  Now, that doesn’t mean they are all terrible, they are really just made as a house wine in the local regions.  When visiting Italy don’t be afraid to try one!  I guuarantee you can get a bottle at the local grocery for probably 1€50.  I’m speaking from experience here. 

IGT – Indicazione Geografica Tipica is one step up from the VdT but is still most commonly drank as a table wine.  These are usually made from grapes native to a specific region ie Sangiovese in Chianti 

DOC – Denominazione di Origine Controllata has more regulations than the previous two classifications.  Wines that are DOC are produced in a specific region with regulations tailored to the particular grape in most places.  There are tons of wines made as DOC and the rules change based on the local traditions.  Most often you will see wines like a Prosecco or Chianti Classico with the blue printed DOC sticker on the top of the bottle. 

DOCG – Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita is the most regulated classification of Italian wines. The government has strict controls on factors such as grape yield and aging length on these wines.  Officials are also sent over testers for an analysis of the wine and seal each bottle after it’s passed the test.  But, like all regions of wines, don’t feel like this is a guaranteed A+ bottle you should break the bank on.  Do your research first, or email me! 

Find a great variety of Italian wines from 90+ Cellars! Great wine for less so you can try Italian wines from each classification.

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